I had heard (and still do) that it was a ‘great honor' to be included in the exclusive Pinecone Research panel. So, I was pretty happy a couple of years back when I applied and got into the program.
Basically, if you're selected, you get to participate in their panel studies, each of which pays you $3 per study.
Quite honestly, I wasn't that impressed. As it turns out, I had been removed from the panel for ‘not participating' in studies, but it took almost a year for me to even realize it. Most likely, because I've been participating in Opinion Outpost and having much greater success (and making a lot more side money)
Here are my thoughts:
1) The $3 compensation was nothing special – If you were sent a link in Pinecone, you had a very limited time to complete the survey. The surveys took quite a bit of time, had a lot of information that was repetitive, even within the survey itself (where you'd often get asked variations of the same questions multiple times). The time spent on each survey didn't make it worth it. With Opinion Outpost, you get compensated on a variable rate that adjusts with the length of the survey.
2) The ‘must complete or else' got old – We're all busy people. Pinecone Research sent you a survey and you had to complete it by the close of the survey date. That's all fine and good, but if you don't complete it, you'll get kicked out after a couple of tries. With Opinion Outpost, you get sent the survey information and if you don't complete it, there is no penalty. If family or work obligations keep you busy for weeks at a time, leaving you no time to complete surveys, it's no big deal to them. With Pinecone, you were expected to be on call at all times. You could ‘suspend' your account, but really, who has the time to do that every time life kicks into gear?
3) The variety wasn't very enticing at Pinecone – For whatever reason, the majority of surveys I got at Pinecone were for cat food or cat related products. I'd say a good 50-75% of surveys had to do with my cat ownership. It got old fast. With Opinion Outpost, I've completed surveys on so many topics I can't even begin to count them all. Cable TV. HD Televisions. Snacks. Dining out. Cell phone service. And that's just scratching the surface. With Opinion Outpost, I feel like I really am getting a voice out there, whereas with Pinecone, the best I felt is that maybe I got to change the life of one kittie. Not exactly inspiring.
Bottom line, if you don't get that exclusive invite to Pinecone, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just go over to Opinion Outpost and I think you'll be pleased.
Note: I did not receive any compensation from any company for this post. I simply really like Opinion Outpost and feel they are a superior option for participating in surveys.